Real Weddings

Meghan and Matt at The Mill Lakeside Manor

Posted on March 25, 2020 by Ariana Baio

Matt and I met during our time at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). While we can’t pinpoint the exact moment, we started dating during our junior year and our favorite college memories happened together. TCNJ will also hold a special place in our hearts and was the perfect location for us for our engagement photos.

I danced from the age of was three until I graduated from college. Because I loved dance, Matt decided to incorporate dance into the proposal. The end result was a flash mob to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” It was Black Friday and we were at his parent’s house for a party when everyone was asked to go back on the deck. I had no idea what was going on, but was annoyed because I didn’t want to go outside in the cold. Little did I know what was coming! All of a sudden music started to play and all of our friends and families came into the backyard and started to dance. By that point, I started to clue into what was happening. The dance ended with Matt on one knee and we were able to celebrate with those closest to us the rest of the night.

When discussing my dress with my mom, I told her I wanted something timeless but that looked like it was from 2019. This vision carried through to the rest of the day–I wanted something that was classic and elegant. Because it was a spring wedding, I also wanted pastel colors. Originally I wanted pale blue, but while trying on bridesmaids dresses everything switched to pale purple! That carried through to the invitations and the flowers–which were beautiful and surpassed my every expectation. The florist even gave us an extra boutonnière–which was perfect as my dad’s was smushed by the time we needed to start the ceremony.

When starting the wedding planning process, my dad suggested stopping by The Mill. We half-listened at first, but after looking at photos online we decided to add it to the list. It was the fist venue we visited, and it was perfect for us. Not only was the building gorgeous as they just finished renovating, but the grounds and view of the lake were beautiful. A big plus for us was that both their outdoor and indoor ceremony spaces were beautiful. We wanted to be married outside, but because the weather cannot be controlled we wanted a picturesque indoor space as well–which was difficult to find in other venues. But what really sold us on the venue was the staff. Every person we interacted with during the planning process was extremely genuine and some of the most pleasant people I have ever worked with. They answered every question and went above and beyond for us.

Our cocktail menu was extremely fun and fit our personalities. There was a bacon bar, pizza station and slide station–that included mini milkshakes. Because both of our names start with M, we decided to use that for our signature drinks-Meghan’s Margarita and Matt’s Mule. The margarita was a raspberry margarita and was made with Chambord Liqueur, tequila, pomegranate juice and lime juice. Matt’s drink was a Kentucky Mule, which is made with bourbon, ginger beer and lime juice. The dinner menu started with an appetizer of penne vodka and garlic bread. There was a vegetarian dish of eggplant rollatini and a chicken that was stuffed with spinach, provolone and sun dried tomatoes. My favorite dish was the Chateaubriand with mashed potatoes. Matt’s favorite dish was the seafood trio that featured shrimp, scallops and crab stuffed flounder. The best part–because it was our special day we didn’t need to choose, we were able to taste every dish! Even though our wedding cake topper broke, the cake itself tasted delicious! Growing up, my mom always made funfetti cakes for mine and my brother’s birthday, so of course my wedding cake was funfetti. There was also a lemon filling and buttercream icing.

My gown was “the one” because it was exactly what I pictured myself wearing. It was lace, with the v-neck that I wanted. There was a little bit of bling around the belt and in my veil. One of the most special details was the train–it was long and round and was a near perfect match to my nana’s wedding dress from the 1930s. Once I saw that, I knew it was perfect for me.

There are too many moments to pick one as my favorite. I loved getting ready with my favorite ladies, the first look with my dad and then with Matt, the ceremony and then dancing all night. One of the most special moments was the time Matt and I took for ourselves after the ceremony. We had drinks and a few items from the cocktail hour in the bridal suite and took a few minutes alone after we said “I do.”

My photographer and the photos she took. She kept us on track, kept everyone calm and put my veil in for me as no one else could figure out how to do it. To me, photos are precious. Kelly had the same mindset, that the people in the photos and the memories they provide are a gift now and 50 years from now.

Two things went wrong–one minor and one major. First, after walking down the aisle and making it under the gazebo it started to rain. It was a light shower, and while the bridal party was safe our guests were not. However, The Mill handed out umbrellas ahead of time so they were safe from the rain. And while I felt guilty for making everyone sit outside during the passing May shower, the resulting photos were worth it. The major snafu had to do with our transportation. We were supposed to have two trolleys make two trips with our guests back to the hotel. However, only one trolley showed up and they were only willing to make two trips. We were not able to get ahold of anyone at the company and our maitre d’ even drove to their location. We had to order taxis for our families and the maitre d’ drove Matt, my mom and me home since it was difficult cramming into a taxi in a wedding dress. The Mill helped us get everyone home, and even helped us get a portion of our payment back and reimbursed for the taxis.

“Everything” by Michael BublĂ©

Be organized and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, something will go wrong but you will survive a rainstorm and everyone will make it home. And at the end of the day those things don’t matter because you will have married your best friend while surrounded by those you love most.

For our honeymoon we traveled to Italia. We spent time in Rome, Florence, Sorrento and Capri. It was an absolute dream trip that was romantic and filled with amazing food, wine and views. If we could, we would relive the trip over and over again.

the details

Reception Location

The Mill Lakeside Manor


Kelly Sea Images

Bride’s Gown

I Do I Do Bridals

Bride’s Shoes

David's Bridal

+ more